Lifeguards are responsible for keeping public and private recreational water areas safe for visitors. They are generally in excellent physical condition and understand how to implement emergency and rescue procedures. Quality lifeguard training is essential to provide a person with these lifesaving skills and techniques. An individual who is interested in lifeguard training can usually find out about the best programs in his or her area by speaking with actual lifeguards at local beaches, pools, or water parks. It is also important to research a program's credentials and determine what types of courses and certificates are offered.
One of the best ways to find out about lifeguard training options is to ask established lifeguards or administrative personnel at a pool. Lifeguards can explain the courses and certifications they needed to obtain their jobs, and offer opinions about programs they have attended. It may also be beneficial to ask executives or supervisors at water parks, pools, or other recreational areas about their requirements for new lifeguards. Once a person understands what is needed to obtain a job, he or she can start investigating different lifeguard training programs.
The Internet is a useful resource tool for finding accredited training programs and instructors. An individual can usually find information about the accreditation, dates, locations, costs, and length of programs on city recreation department websites. Accreditation is offered by a number of national organizations, including the Red Cross. Attending a program that meets national standards insures that a person receives useful instruction and is prepared for many different emergency scenarios.
Quality training courses encompass a wide range of lifesaving skills. Many of the best lifeguard training classes feature first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and automated external defibrillation (AED) programs. Knowledgeable, licensed instructors can give demonstrations and teach students how to safely provide emergency services. Other elements of a program may include instruction on swimming long distances, retrieving weights from the bottom of a pool, and pulling volunteers or dummies from the water.
A final thing to consider when choosing a lifeguard training course is the type of final certification offered. A program might feature specialized training and certification for shallow or deep water lifeguarding, for example. Some courses are designed to prepare people for beach rescue, water park management, or lake and river watch. Since many people enter lifeguard training with specific future jobs in mind, it is important to find out if a program will grant the appropriate certification.